This research was conducted by Chiara Dalle Nogare and Monika Murzyn-Kupisz at the University of Brescia, Italy and Jagiellonian University, Poland


Fostering innovation is not usually a stated goal of museums. However, it is increasingly common for museums and galleries to be categorised within the broader ‘cultural and creative industries’. This puts pressure on museum leaders to do more to cultivate innovation in their organisations and more widely across the sector. This paper used a unique data set from 261 Polish museums to find that ‘despite their diversity’, the many relationships between museums in Poland and creative industries firms were generally ‘poor in terms of their potential for innovation enhancement’. Overall, ‘weak links greatly outnumber those rich in knowledge spillovers’. The authors think that museums could inspire more innovation in the creative industries if they concentrated on delivering their core mission and sought partnerships with indirect links to creative industries businesses – particularly via the museums' education function.

The survey uncovered a large number of partnerships with a wide variety of creative industry organisations

70 per cent of museum had partnered with ‘firms representing the advertising, film, and TV industries and radio, the press, and internet portals’. Two thirds had partnered with the ‘music industry and three out of five with the book and publishing industry’. Over half had partnered with the ‘contemporary visual arts sector. Two in five museums report cooperation with the design and artistic crafts sector and over one-third with the performing arts sector’.

The paper made a distinction between strong, moderate and weak links between museums and firms in the creative industries

‘Designers who access and get direct inspiration from a museum’s collection’ was an example of a strong link, as was a creative or entrepreneurial leader finding ‘new aesthetic, organisational, and technological solutions’ to whatever problem they might be working on. ‘Space rentals’ was an example of a weak link. Medium links had some qualities of a strong link, but were unlikely to lead directly to innovation that is relevant to a creative business.

Title Do museums foster innovation through engagement with the cultural and creative industries?
Author(s) Nogare, C. D. & Murzyn-Kupisz, M.
Publication date 2021
Source Journal of Cultural Economics, Vol. 45, pp. 671–704
Open Access Link
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